WASHINGTON (AP)—President Donald Trump has temporarily waived a law requiring the U.S. to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Trump’s move to renew the waiver for six months keeps the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv for now. Trump has said he’s reviewing whether to fulfill his campaign promise to move it to Jerusalem.
The White House says President Donald Trump decided to delay moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to maximize chances of reaching a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.
Spicer says the six-month waiver Trump signed Thursday shouldn’t be considered a retreat from Trump’s “strong support for Israel” and for the alliance between the U.S. and Israel. He says pursuing a Mideast peace deal fulfills the president’s “solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests.”
Trump was facing a Thursday deadline to renew the waiver or see the State Department lose half its funding for its overseas facilities. Presidents of both parties have renewed the waiver every six months for years.
Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, but the Palestinians claim east Jerusalem for the capital of a future state.
The U.S. says its policy on Jerusalem hasn’t changed and that Jerusalem’s status must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.